Apricot Almond Galette (with Strawberry and Mango variations)
It’s good to have friends who have fruit trees.
This week I received not one but TWO giant bags of avocados from (three) friends, and one giant bag of fresh-picked (and fresh-fallen) apricots.
Somehow I managed to avoid a repeat of my CSA produce-induced panic. After all, how difficult could it be to use up apricots and avocados? Even with no kitchen and no other ingredients, I could eat them all raw, and they’d be delicious.
(That said, there are many, many avocado-centered recipes coming soon…)
First though, to celebrate my sudden apricot abundance, I was excited to take on the challenge of baking something fancy and apricotty. Something with homemade pastry crust and some glistening cut-side-up fresh apricot halves.
I am not a baker (yet), so I turned to Alice Waters and Deborah Madison, and stumbled, twice, upon nearly the same galette crust recipe in each book. (Deborah Madison’s tweak, which I followed, was to add a bit of sugar to the dough. A step that Alice Waters skips over in order to have a galette crust that is just as lovely with savory fillings.)
Both cookbooks recommend dusting a circle of the galette pastry with crushed biscotti, ground nuts, or flour to absorb all of the extra juiciness that emerges when baking stone fruits like apricots, peaches, or plums. I planned to grind my own almonds or pistachios for that purpose, but found some almond meal at the store, and combined it with a bit of sugar and flour.
It worked perfectly. The crust was crispy yet light, and the fruit was tart and tender.
For someone who rarely bakes, this recipe struck me as a nice invitation into it, and an easy way to showcase the flavors of fresh fruit.
Such a perfect celebration of apricots. I made a total of four (!) galettes this week, mixing apricots with strawberries and mangoes, and sprinkling in chopped pistachios before baking. Maybe I could get into this baking thing after all.
Adapted from the Apple Galette recipe from the book: “In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart” by Alice Waters.
(Makes enough for two 12″ galettes)
~ 2 cups all-purpose flour
~ ½ tsp. salt
~ 1 tsp. sugar
~ 12 Tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold and firm, but not hard
~ ⅓ – ½ cup ice-cold water
How to make it:
1. Make sure the butter is cold but not hard. (One way to do this: take it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes, then cut it into ¼-½-inch cubes, and put the cubes into the freezer for 5-10 minutes.)
2. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Add about half of the cubes of butter to the bowl, and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers, lightly breaking the flour-coated butter into small bits, until it’s roughly the texture of oatmeal. Add the rest of the butter, and work it quickly into the dough. Then dribble the water into the dough, while tossing the mixture with a fork. Keep adding water only until the dough begins to clump and hold together when you squeeze a handful (you may not need the full ½ cup).
4. Divide the dough in two and gather each part into a ball. Wrap each ball in plastic and flatten it into a thick disk. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15-30 minutes (or freeze for future use!). (If you refrigerate it much longer, such as a full hour, then let the dough warm up for 15 minutes once removed from the fridge before rolling it out.)
5. To form a galette: roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface into a round circle, about 12 inches in diameter, and about ⅛ inch thick. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate on the tray for 5 minutes or so, while preparing the fruit filling.
Apricot Almond Galette
Adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison.
~ Galette dough
~ 12 large ripe apricots (or 16 small apricots), sliced in half
~ 2 Tbsp. almond meal (or crushed biscotti)
~ 1 Tbsp. sugar
~ 1 Tbsp. flour
~ 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
~ 2-3 Tbsp. sugar, to sprinkle over the top (to taste)
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface into a round circle, about 12 inches in diameter, and about ⅛ inch thick. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate on the tray for 5 minutes or so, while preparing the fruit filling.
2. Mix together the almond meal, sugar, and flour in a small bowl. Slice the apricots.
3. Remove the galette crust tray from the fridge, and spread the almond flour mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. (This mixture will help absorb the fruit juices and keep the bottom of the galette crust crisp.)
4. Arrange the apricot slices on top of the almond flour mixture, cut side down (or up!). Sprinkle over some sugar, then fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, overlapping it to make wide pleats. Brush the dough with butter, and drizzle remaining butter over the fruit. Then sprinkle both the crust and apricots generously with sugar.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until the crust is starting to brown.
6. Remove and let cool a bit before serving. Serve slices with vanilla ice cream, mascarpone, or with ricotta, chopped pistachios, and honey.
Variation: Strawberry Apricot Galette
Follow Apricot Galette recipe, but use 5-6 large (or 8-9 small) apricots, and 5-6 sliced strawberries. In step #4, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the fruit, and increase the sugar sprinkled over the top to 4-5 Tbsp.
Variation: Apricot Mango Galette
Follow Apricot Galette recipe, but use 5-6 large (or 8-9 small) apricots, and half of a fresh mango, cubed. In step #4, increase the sugar sprinkled over the top (depending on the ripeness of the mango), and optionally sprinkle over some chopped pistachio kernels.